Past OWLS Events:
Walk about at Tom and Lori Baumberger's on June 1, 2013.
The forecast for Saturday June 1 was for rain, but it turned out to be a wonderful, partly sunny, day for Tom and Lori Baumberger's walkabout. Tom and Lori have what one could only describe as a class A prairie restoration. The 19 acre field was entered into NRCS CRP program in 2004, with the first growing season 2005. The prairie restoration is now well established with a minimun amount of weeds to deal with. Over 40 native prairie species have been observed to date, and Tom and Lori are waiting for more to appear.
This remarkable prairie was accomplished thru a considerable amount of field preparation, including tilling and herbicide treatments of what was then a poorly managed hay field. Seeding was done with the use of a TRUAX drill and broadcasting, followed by a complete cultipacking. Tom then mowed at regular intervals, increasing the mower height over time to allow the native plants to compete with the flush of weeds. Spot mowing contiued in weedy areas for up to 5 years. The first controlled burn took place in 2007.
I believe everyone learned much about restoring a prairie from scratch, and we thank Tom and Lori for sharing their insights, their land, and their experiences. The beer and brownies were a good ending to the day!